Fear of Psychological Treatment and Its Relation to Mental Health Service Avoidance

Matt G. Kushner, Kenneth J. Sher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


We evaluated whether a measure of mental health treatment fearfulness is associated with past mental health treatment history and/or current treatment status. Student Ss who either were or were not about to begin psychotherapy responded to the fear measure and a measure of psychological distress, and they also answered questions about their mental health treatment-seeking history. Analysis indicated that increased treatment fearfulness was associated retrospectively with a history of service underconsumption and cross-sectionally with a nonclinical treatment status. We conclude that treatment fears are associated with treatment-seeking decisions and suggest that future studies focus on delineating the causal relation of these variables and on the role that treatment fears may play in treatment compliance and behavior change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1989


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